Sunday, April 30, 2017

Simple Roasted Rack of Lamb with Red Wine Pan Sauce

Ingredients:

- 2 racks of lamb (1 1/2 - 1 1/3 lbs), frenched and trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 cup (8 oz.) dry red wine
- 2 1/2 teaspoons fresh minced rosemary
- 1 cup (8 oz) chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Adjust your oven rack to the lower middle position, and preheat the oven to 425F.
2.  Season the lamb with salt and pepper.  Heat the olive oil in a skillet over high heat until the oil shimmers.  Place the racks of lamb in the skillet, meat side down in the center of the pan, with the ribs facing outward.  Cook until well browned, about 4 minutes.  Using tongs, stand the racks up in the skillet, leaning against each other to brown the bottom of the racks (see image above).  Cook until the bottoms of the racks have browned, about two minutes.
3.  Transfer the racks to a roasting pan.  Roast the racks until the center of the racks register 130F (for medium rare).  Adjust final temperature to your taste.
4.  When the racks are done, remove from the oven and place on a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil to rest for about 10 minutes.
5.  While the racks are roasting, pour off all but 1 1/2 tablespoons of the fat from the skillet used to brown the racks.  Over medium heat, add the shallots and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
6.  Add the red wine and the rosemary and cook over medium high heat until the wine is reduced to be dark and syrupy, about 7-8 minutes.
7.  When the wine has been reduced, add the chicken broth and simmer until the sauce has been reduced to about 3/4 of a cup.  This should take 5-6 minutes.  
8.  Once the sauce has been reduced, take the skillet off heat and whisk the butter into the sauce.
9.  After the racks have rested, carve, slicing between each rib, into individual chops.
10.  Serve the chops, and spoon the wine sauce over the chops.

Cook's Notes:

This was an incredibly easy recipe to make and the results were nothing short of outstanding.  The wine reduced quickly, as did the chicken broth.  The resulting pan sauce was thick, but easily spooned over the chops.  I added an addition tablespoon of butter to the reduction.  You can never add too much butter to a reduction.

Total cooking time for the racks was just under 20 minutes.  I roasted the racks to 130F, and they were on the rare side of medium rare.  Next time I make this recipe, I will up the final internal temperature to 133F.  I used my remote sensing thermometer to monitor the temperature of the lamb.  Here is a link to the thermometer I have.  Once you have cooked with a remote sensing thermometer, you will wonder how you lived without it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

White Chicken Chili
Ingredients:
-        -  3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
-        -  1 48 oz. jar of Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
-        -  2 16 oz. jars of salsa (one hot and one medium)
-        - 1 small onion, finely chopped (or 1 tablespoon onion powder)
-        - 2 ½ cups chicken broth
-        - 1 tablespoon Cumin

Directions:
1.       Place the chicken breasts and two cups of chicken broth into a crockpot and cook on low overnight.
2.       In the morning, add the remaining ingredients, plus the additional ½ of chicken broth.
3.       Cook on low for 8 hours.

4.       Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream, if desired.
    
        Cook's Notes:
        This is an incredibly easy to make white chili.  There may appear to be a lot of liquid        remaining after the chicken breasts have cooked overnight, but do not discard the liquid.  After you add the Great Northern Beans, that liquid will be absorbed. 
      Also, I have used a single jar of Pace Medium Salsa (38 oz.) for this recipe and it was delicious.